By Fr. Jud Weiksnar, OFM
In anticipation of the feast of St. Anthony, Fr. Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., reflects on the way that the friars at St. Anthony see their parish’s patron saint at work in their community, one of the most violent and impoverished in America.
Did you know that St. Anthony is the patron saint of American Indians, animals, barrenness, Brazil, elderly people, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, fishermen, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, harvest, horses, lost articles, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed people, poor people, Portugal, pregnant women, seekers of lost articles, shipwrecks, starvation, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travelers, and watermen? At St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, we figure at least a few of those categories apply to us!
As we gear up for the Feast of St. Anthony on June 13, and the Parish Fiesta that we will hold on June 15, it’s a good time to reflect on what St. Anthony means to us. Read more…
By Daniel Beckham
The following reflection is taken from a blog entitled “Detour to Holiness: My Wayward Journey to the Religious Life … So Far” by Daniel Beckham, who will begin his postulant year with Holy Name Province this August. In this entry, posted May 24, Daniel notes, ”This is the second of what will probably be a three-part posting on “things that help me discern.” In this piece, I focus on some of the actions associated with discernment. Part I focused primarily on listening.
Good morning! At the time of this writing, it’s 6:52 a.m. on Wednesday, and I’m sitting in a Starbucks in my old neighborhood of Tampa (it’s a new Starbucks since I lived here back in 2007). Nowadays I live in Clearwater, so what am I doing all the way over in Tampa at such an early hour? Am I here for work? No. A doctor’s appointment perhaps? Not that, either. Well, surely I didn’t drive 40 minutes for Mass, did I? Actually, I totally drove 40 minutes for Mass!
Specifically, I’m here for Mass and, a little later, breakfast with my old friend Chris. I haven’t talked about Chris on here yet, but he’s a buddy of mine from way-back-when. Currently he’s a seminarian in formation to the diocesan priesthood, and this morning we’ll be seeing each other for the first time (in person, anyhow) since 2006. Back then, he and I were a couple of young military guys enjoying the single life and having a good time. Then, as happens in the service, Chris got transferred to Warner Robins, Georgia, and that was pretty much that. Read more…
By Daniel Beckham
The following reflection is taken from a blog entitled “Detour to Holiness: My Wayward Journey to the Religious Life … So Far” by Daniel Beckham, who will begin his postulant year with Holy Name Province this August. In this entry, posted on May 21, Daniel notes that “This is the first of what will probably be a three-part posting on ‘things that help me discern.’ In this piece, I focus on the importance of prayerfully listening in discernment.”
As you’ve seen, for all its blessings, discernment can be a stressful business. True, there are some people who just know right out of the gate where they’re called. For most of us, however, that level of vocational confidence just isn’t there (at first, anyhow).
No, most of us need a little help along the way. So where does one turn? Where have I turned? Where should you turn?
The most fundamental answer, of course, is that you must turn to God. Discernment, first and foremost, has to be prayerful. If you don’t feel your relationship with God deepening as you try to work out your vocation, you aren’t doing it right. That’s because discerning a religious vocation has little, if anything, to do with what any of us personally wants. Rather, it has everything to do with what God wants. Always remember that. Read more…
The following is a continuation of an article on Fr. Michael Putich, OFM, who is commemorating his 50th anniversary of profession in 2013. Part 1 of the article was posted May 14, 2013.
Early Experiences: Education and Parish Ministry
In 1969, Fr. Michael began working at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where he stayed until 1986, serving in various roles such as director of development, treasurer, instructor, and moderator of the Franciscan movement. During that time, he earned a master’s in education, with certification in social studies, from Niagara University, completing his degree in 1975.
From 1986 to 1989, Fr. Michael served as parochial vicar of St. Martin of Tours Parish, Buffalo. In 1990, he earned an MBA from Canisius College in Buffalo.
The best part of being a member of Holy Name Province, he says, is celebrating its diversity. “Early on, the diversity in our ministries was good. Now it’s the diversity of people — not just all from the Northeast.” Read more…
The following is a profile of Fr. Michael Putich, OFM, who is one of eight friars commemorating his 50th anniversary of profession in 2013.
Fr. Michael Putich, OFM, a friar at St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo, N.Y., describes his 50-year ministry as three fold: education, financial administration, and pastoral caring for the sick and elderly.
Aside from stints at Walsh University in Ohio, and at a ministry in Providence, R.I., all of this jubilarian’s service has been spent near his home in Western New York, where the winters are harsh, he jokes, but the summers are cool and mild. Through his rich and diverse ministry, this Buffalo native has worked at two schools associated with the Province — Bishop Timon High School, Buffalo, which was founded by Franciscans, and St. Bonaventure University in Allegany.
Ministering to Veterans in an End-of-Life Setting
Fr. Michael says that one of the most rewarding assignments has been his current role in ministering to men at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Buffalo, where he is chaplain and a member of the palliative care consult team. Read more…
By Fr. David Convertino, OFM
As the one-month anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings nears, a friar who for nine years was executive director and guardian of St. Anthony Shrine there, reflected on the meaning of dates — both those with scarring memories and those that offer hope and joy. The following, written after the Boston Marathon bombings, is part of a series of emails distributed by HNP’s executive director of development. Most can be found on the website of the HNP Development Office.
9/11 and 4/15 — these two dates will be seared into my heart for the rest of my life, along with some other dates that are very public. Some, like 6/28 — the day my Dad died — are only for family and friends.
Since 9/11, a date most of us can never forget, we have used these numerical sequences, or “numbers of the heart,” to label the horrific times that have confronted our nation, and now we add 4/15, the date of what has become known as the Boston Bombings. National dates, to be sure, but don’t we all also have our own tragic “numbers of the heart” that are seared into our hearts and souls?
These kinds of recent national or personal “date sequences” are usually centered on a tragedy that has befallen our country or us personally. They may be the date of a ruptured relationship, an act of violence we suffered, or the sudden realization that our lives are never going to be what we thought they would be. Read more…
In his World Day of Prayer for Vocations address last month, Pope Francis asked the young people in the crowd: “Have you sometimes heard the Lord’s voice, in a desire, in a worry? Did he invite you to follow him more closely? . . . Have you wanted to be apostles of Jesus? . . . Ask Jesus what he wants of you and be brave! Be brave! Ask him this!”
Then at a recent Confirmation ceremony, Francis told the confirmants: “Remain steadfast in the journey of faith. Listen carefully, young people, swim against the tide; it’s good for the heart, but it takes courage.”
The Pope’s repeated appeals for bravery and courage serve as reminders to all of us that Christian discipleship requires hard choices and selfless acts. “We Christians weren’t chosen by the Lord to do little things,” says Pope Francis.
Be brave: Swim against the tide.